Why is a center needed in Franklin County?
In 2013 there were 283 total reports of alleged child abuse in Franklin County. 42 of these reports were substantiated for child abuse. The overall number of Children and Youth Services referrals represents an incidence of 8 reports per 1,000 children in Franklin County. Over The Rainbow Children’s Advocacy Center (OTR-CAC) was established upon collaboration with community partners and professionals who shared a vision of a place specifically designed to address the needs of child abuse victims and their families.
Over The Rainbow Children’s Advocacy Center (OTR-CAC) provides a safe, child-friendly place for children and their families to receive services that help to restore hope and provide healing from child abuse. Children’s advocacy centers minimize the trauma that can be experienced by a child during a child abuse investigation. This is done by utilizing a multidisciplinary team response to child abuse. Services are provided onsite for the child and their family. These services include a forensic interview that allows the child to tell their story while members of the investigative team watch the interview through a close circuit television. This approach helps to eliminate the number of times a child will have to tell their story. A victim advocate is present at the center to meet with the caregiver and provide support and referrals for services. The child is also offered a forensic medical exam.
The Multidisciplinary Investigative Team includes representatives from law enforcement, child protective services, medical professionals, mental health professionals and the District Attorney’s Office.
Over The Rainbow Children’s Advocacy Center (OTR-CAC) is committed to providing services and support to suspected child abuse victims and their families in a compassionate , child friendly environment utilizing a multidisciplinary approach with respect to the prevention, identification, investigation and treatment of child abuse while emphasizing the child as our first priority.
Over The Rainbow supports and envisions a community where children and their families are provided with the resources necessary to lessen the trauma of abuse. It is our belief that proactively addressing these needs will lead to the future wellbeing of the child and ultimately the community.
The basic principles that guide us include:
– Recognition that above all else the child is our first priority
– Opportunity for achieving positive outcomes is multiplied when people work together towards a common goal
– Every child has the right and deserves to grow up in a world free from abuse
Members of the Multi-disciplinary Investigative Team include:
Mental Health Providers
Family Advocate / Women In Need
Franklin County Children and Youth Services
Franklin County District Attorney’s Office
Franklin County Law Enforcement
– Pennsylvania State Police
– Chambersburg Police Department
– Franklin County Sheriff’s Department
– Waynesboro Police Department
– Washington Twp Police Department
– Mercersburg Police Department
– Penn State University Police Department (Mont Alto Branch)
– Greencastle Police Department
– Shippensburg Police Department
Dianne Kelso received both her Bachelor’s Degree (1985) and Master’s Degree (1995) in Criminal Justice from Shippensburg University. She began employment with the Chambersburg Police Department in 1986 as a Patrol Officer. She was assigned to the Criminal Investigative Unit in 1990 and promoted to Detective Sergeant of the Criminal Investigation Division in 1997 retiring in 2014 after 28 years of service. During the course of this career her responsibilities included the investigation of serious crimes committed against persons with a special emphasis on Special Victims as related to crimes against children and domestic violence. As a supervisor of the division she was responsible for the daily operations, training and staff development of Criminal Investigators. Dianne has been certified in several areas of expertise to include, Municipal Police Academy Instructor, DARE Instructor (1990 -2006) Chambersburg Area School District) , Hostage/Crisis Negotiator (Team Commander 1995-2014) , Lethality Assessment Trainer – PCADV (PA Coalition Against Domestic Violence). Specialized Training and certifications as related to the Investigation of the Physical and Sexual Abuse of Children.
Managing Forensic Interviewer
Rebecca Voss graduated from Shippensburg University in 2003 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree. After graduation she was employed by Adams County Children and Youth Services. Becky was a caseworker in the Intake unit for six years investigating reports of child abuse. In 2010 she began working at the Adams County Children’s Advocacy Center where she provided supportive and educational services to caregivers and facilitated prevention programs for the community and children. Becky’s duties also included providing back up forensic interviews which led to her assuming this role full time at the ACCAC. She began working at Over The Rainbow in September 2014 as the Managing Forensic Interviewer. Becky is a trained Forensic Interviewer through ChildFirst Pennsylvania. She is also a trained facilitator for Darkness to Light Stewards of Children, ChildHelp Speak Up Safe and TECH Smart for Child Safety.
- Matthew D. Fogal – President
- David Rush-Vice President
- Natalie Lehman-Treasurer
- Alice Hawbaker-Secretary
- Dustin Haluska
- Doug Amsley
- April Braxton
- Barbara Rossini